Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SW - all that Outrage is backfiring!

Guess what - it totally matters not! Source.

And I cite.
This Shark Week, we’re seeing a massive spike in interest around their less-than-factual productions.
David Shiffman (has) made it his personal mission to publicize the television event’s misinformation.
You might wonder why we bother doing this. It’s certainly not for the glory or the thrill of moderating thousands of hateful comments or the actual violent threats. It’s because, believe it or not, we love Discovery Communications...
So as long as Discovery is spitting out garbage, we’ll be right here shoving it back in their faces.
And they are loving you right back!
Let me try and re-formulate this so that maybe, just maybe it permeates all those layers of outrage, righteousness and self importance. Because really, it's so obvious to be painful: you are being played.

And the evidence is right there for everybody to see.
But you got to look in the right places, like here. Or here
And especially, here and here!

That's the only metric that counts - the numbers!
Sorry for having to break the news: it matters not at all what you write, it matters not whether your countless tweets, FB posts, articles, open letters and op-eds etc are positive or negative - the only thing that matters is that you write and especially, that you mention those search words! Which translates into numbers. Which translates into ratings. Which translates into advertisements. Which translates into money for DC!
That simple.

And this.
Those guys are pros. Why do you think they have doubled down on the mockumentaries despite last year's outrage - because they didn't hear you? No, it's because it has become glaringly obvious that the worse the shows and the more outrageously stupid the assertions, the more you will tweet and write! Correct?
Case in point: accurate deduction (YES they do troll you, actively!), wrong reaction!

Get it?
And trust me, I'm not being disingenuous here. 
They are really that calculating and callous.

So, Think!
You may want to consider toning it down several notches and reserving your ammo for one single scathing review at the end. Or, you can choose to continue doing what you are doing - and next year we'll be graced not with two but with three mockumentaries.

And that's a promise!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

This game started as a numbers game and will always be a numbers game. The ONLY thing that has changed is that the appetite for carnage and fanciful tales has increased while the metric for success has shifted to include (on par with ratings) the volume of web chatter. What the most educated and indignant scientists don't realize is that they have been weighed, measured and trolled and all their righteous vitriol plays into DSC's gameplay. It is in fact a metric that is accounted for when trying to, for example, increase web presence from last year. It's not a miscalculation of the audience that almost every show this year is scripted nonsense and fakery... it's simply what the peoples response demanded.

Don't ever say DC doesn't listen to you, they're kinda like God, pray all you like but sometimes you'll get the opposite of what you want.

Angelo Villagomez said...

My twitter traffic increased 3300% on the first day of Shark Week. Thanks, Discovery Channel!

DaShark said...


The question being, how many of those 3.5-odd million viewers that are being duped because not being shark aficionado, they just don't know better did you reach.

Or, were you just preaching to the choir.

Deep throat said...

But wait... What if southern fried science is a discovery property and shiffman takes his orders from a husky voiced discovery exec in shadowy parking lots???!! It's Super Troll!!

DaShark said...


How could I have been so blind - and to think it was right there in the open, staring me in the face all along!

Ian Campbell said...

I find the "outrage" hilarious and those most angry would be even angrier if the mockumentaries went away. In fact, there's a bit of a two-way street here as before Shark Week there was a strategy meeting held online on how best to jump on the bandwagon.

Shark Week is what it is, and is an opportunity to promote any shark related work just by adding a hashtag.

There is some irresponsible programme content, but then there is on most topics. It won't change research or conservation efforts, but it will generate headlines and fluff.

Great analysis on why it is what it is. In all honesty, there isn't enough truly marketable research or shark conservation work to fill an entire day's programming, let alone a week, so of course it's going to be mainly shark porn. It's like people complaining about the quality of 24 hour, seven day a week programming on multiple channels. What do people expect, endless Oscar Wilde quality?

DaShark said...

There was a strategy meeting held online on how best to jump on the bandwagon.
And why am I not surprised Ian.

But it's of course more than the lack of potential quality content.

DC's target audience appear to be ppl who relish watching countless episodes of two ugly chicks baking cupcakes in DC - so why would we expect anything but garbage here.
With that in mind, we should actually be grateful for any quality programs!

Re the correct strategy for effecting change.
How about pushing down the ratings, at least when it comes to the social media = radio silence about the crap, tweet storms about the good ones.
Not rocket science is it…

But instead, those folks are doing the exact opposite.
Aren't they supposed to be the smarter ones among us?

OfficetoOcean said...

The blindingly obvious course to take towards an alternative, higher quality week of programming is for another station to piggyback on the shark week phenomenon and run simultaneously, it's own week of commissioned shark films which offer more of what people say SW should be doing. That means unearthing new talent with new ideas and spending a lot of money.

The other alternative is people go out and make the kind of films they want to see themselves (one of the principle factors behind how "Of Shark and Man" came about) and that would require monumental support from the people who complain the loudest, putting their hands in their pockets and that just won't happen.

Until a someone comes along with a game changer, the game ain't changing.

Oh and I agree with this blog entirely.

DaShark said...

Maybe David.

As Ian correctly remarks, there may not be enough good entertaining material for a whole week - nor enough money for only producing hi quality programs.

This always assuming that it's what the paying public wants to see - and in view of the track record, that is certainly not a given!

Angelo Villagomez said...

Discovery's target audience is #PeopleofWalMart. The science shows are for the nerds, the other crap is for everyone else. Discovery actually does a great job of creating content for a multitude of audiences.